He Chooses to Love Us in Spite of All That We Are
“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants” (Luke 15:18-19).
We’ve all heard the story of the prodigal son. He convinced his dad to give him his inheritance so that he could go out into the world and make his mark. He set out ready to take on whatever the world threw at him. The world with all of its seductive charms lured him into a life of recklessness and waste. Before long, all his money was gone.
When a famine hit, the only work he could find was feeding pigs. He was at rock bottom. As the story goes, he finally came to his senses and decided to go back home. He worked up a speech for his dad. “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants” (Luke 15:18-19).
Many people relate to the prodigal son. Like him, they feel unworthy of God’s love.
We get to those feelings of unworthiness in one of two ways. The first follows the path of the prodigal son. Wild, reckless living can create feelings of unworthiness deep within our souls. Unworthiness gives rise to guilt and shame. Shame is that fear of being disgraced if anyone finds out our real story.
Others feel unworthy because they’ve been damaged by something that happened to them, or they believe they were the cause of a hurtful situation. They were molested as a child, or abandoned by their parents, or rejected by someone they loved. Or they might believe they were the cause of their parents’ divorce or the reason a brother or sister died. These events and beliefs enclose people in a shell of unworthiness. That shell is hard and rigid, it’s seemingly impenetrable, and it provides a shield for them to hide behind.
The truth is that none of us are worthy of God’s love. He chooses to love us in spite of all that we are. His choice makes us worthy. His choice makes us lovable.
God knows your real story. He is not ashamed of you. For proof, look at the cross. His choice to love you was presented in full measure there. It was poured out in grace and mercy. Let go of the shell and let the forgiveness of God cleanse your soul.